Spread the Word to End the Word
Across the United States and around the globe, young people have joined a movement of mutual respect and human dignity called Spread the Word to End the Word. The goal: get people to stop and think about their hurtful and disparaging use of the word “retard” and pledge to stop using it.
Spread the Word to End the Word was created by youth with and without intellectual disabilities who participated in the Special Olympics Global Youth Activation Summit at the 2009 Special Olympics World Winter Games. The motivation for the campaign was driven by a united passion to promote the positive contributions people with intellectual disabilities make to communities around the world combined with a simple call to action – a pledge to stop using a word – that also symbolizes positive attitude change and a commitment to make the world a more accepting place for all people.
We found that almost all youth have heard the r-word and most have heard it used by a friend or a student at school. We also found that youth react differently to the r-word if it is directed at a person with a disability or if a friend says the word.
Half of youth (51%) said that they felt bad or sorry for the person being picked. Some responded that they either laughed or didn’t care when they heard the r-word and many (39%) said that they did nothing. Some youth (33%) took a stand and told the person it was wrong to say the r-word.
What YOU Can Do
Join he cause and the Spread the Word to End the Word’s Project UNIFY movement in schools around the U.S. Motivate your friends to get involved with a variety of fun youth activities. You can even contribute five minutes to take the Spread the Word to End the Word pledge.
Get in the game by joining Special Olympics Unified Sports®, where people with and without intellectual disabilities train and compete together on the same team.
Know someone with an intellectual disability? Refer them to a Special Olympics program nearby, and for more information, go to http://www.specialolympics.org/.
Entry filed under: Current Events, Education, KidThrive.org, OneSeventeen Media, Parents, Relationships, School, Tweens, Volunteering, Youth. Tags: Facebook, OneSeventeen, Pew Internet and American Life Project, special olympics, Spread the Word to End the Word’s Project, Teens, UNIFY movement, Youth.